Train drivers love a good line!

Train drivers John Howarth and Ibraim Ashow love a good line in books and live readings, as well as on the tracks.

Howarth has helped organize two "poetry trains" for VIA Rail. In 2003 a group of poets traveled from Winnipeg to Prince George with the train sold out. The 2004 poets traveled from Prince George to Prince Rupert. In both cases, they gave readings as they traveled west, and in small communities where they stopped along the way.

Howarth was involved with the 1999 CBC Fred Eaglesmith train as well.

"These were amazing trips," he said, "and the passengers really enjoyed the experience. I think the BC government is underestimating the public's appreciation of literature when it slashes arts funding."

Ashow agrees. "John and I have the privilege of seeing a lot of BC and Canada through our work. It's beautiful country, but it's empty without stories, songs and poems that originate throughout the land." Ibraim was a student at BCIT who now works as a conductor for the Hudson's Bay Railway in Manitoba.

"I always read BC BookWorld," says Howarth, "and I like to shop at stores like Books & Company in Prince George. Instead of cutting funding, though, the government ought to be increasing its support for our home-grown publishing industry, like it would the forest industry, transportation or any other sector of our economy."

Engine #4019 was built in 1955 and has one 16 cylinder diesel engine with 1500 HP.

For further information, contact Bill Horne at Amazing Space Studio,
Wells, BC 250-994-2332 mazing at claireart dot ca

© Bill Horne John Howarth photo

If anyone wants to reproduce this or any other photos in this series,
please contact me before doing so. In most cases I am happy to give
permission, but out of respect for the people in the photographs,
I like to check with them first. Thanks!

To support the production of this series you can...

John Howarth and his dog Puck; photo by Bill Horne

You can see more images of Solidarity with the arts from:
Pulp and paper
small town small businesses vs HST
Sled dog mushers
Backhoe drivers

Home page of

Ibraim Ashow in front of engine #4019; photo by John Howarth.

Some important addresses to write to:

Arts Advocacy BC

British Columbians and Canadians Speak Out Against Funding Cuts

" Government is gambling with other people's money", The Province

"Flex Your Muscles, BC Arts Community", The Tyee

"Budget Cut Blues' Played for Politicians", The Tyee

"Government cuts steal colour from life"

Article in The Straight including reactions from individual artists

Visualize the cuts (CARFAC BC on Facebook)

Organizing against Campbell's cuts to the arts (Facebook)

Creativity Counts